a certain


used to refer to a quality that is noticed but that is difficult to explain or describe
She has a certain elegance about her.
The house has a certain charm.
used with the name of a person one does not know
In 1889, a certain Mr. Kelly made a large donation to the church.

Examples of a certain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Like most people going through a breakup, my high school self wanted nothing more than a guardian angel to tell me exactly how to get over a certain someone. Jenna Ryu, SELF, 28 Nov. 2023 Layers like music theory, or knowing that a song sounds good sung in a certain way, or knowing that some melody will sound beautiful paired with a certain chord. Billboard Japan, Billboard, 27 Nov. 2023 In Israel, there’s a certain blindness — the television is constantly streaming what’s happening in Gaza and nobody says this actually does in some way derive from the tragedy of the Palestinians in ‘48 and onward. Stuart Miller, Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2023 The slower months of January and February have a certain quiet charm. Lindsay Cohn, Travel + Leisure, 24 Nov. 2023 The problem is that past a certain size (roughly 8 meters wide) a monolithic, single-piece telescope mirror is extremely difficult to cast, polish, and use—building a structure just to support such an immense weight is prohibitive. Phil Plait, Scientific American, 23 Nov. 2023 There is a certain appeal for that, especially for Americans accustomed to interminable, murky operations where military activities were ranging from trying to strengthen host nations to counterterrorism as well as more straightforward combat. David Marchese David Marchese Photograph By Mamadi Doumbouya, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2023 No wonder there’s a certain cipher-like quality to these musicals. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2023 Indeed, seen from a certain perspective, everything is criticism—the insightful pairing in a repertory cinema’s program, photographs taken on a movie set, essay-films about other films, profiles, and interviews. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'a certain.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near a certain

Cite this Entry

“A certain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/a%20certain. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!